Where we are located in Northern NSW, Australia there are flowers most of the year round, so feeding isn’t usually necessary. However, many parts of the world have long winters where bees may need to be fed. This is necessary when there are no flowers available for foraging and there are not enough honey stores in the hive to feed the bees through the colder months.
There is lots of discussion and debate on feeding bees – the two more popular options seem to be; i) sugar water feeding, and ii) dry sugar feeding. (Note: Use white sugar, rather than raw or brown sugar.)
Some people make a feeder by putting small holes in the lid of a jar, filling with sugar water and placing over the hole in the inner cover. There are also commercially available feeders. Small jars or feeders may fit under the Flow Hive gabled roof. Larger feeders may need more space, which you can gain by putting a spare bee box on top of the inner cover.
DO NOT feed supermarket honey to your bees. It may contain American Foulbrood spores.
It is safe to feed honey produced by the colony back to them if stores are low.
Watch how Cedar has created a DIY feeder here